Illegal Logging and Encroachment

One of the major drivers of deforestation is illegal logging and encroachment by communities and companies in search for timber or open up land to be converted for plantations. The main reason for the continued illegal logging and encroachment activities is an economic one, mainly due to lack of job opportunities and a strong agriculture society. With many of the Acehnese people living downstream of rivers and watersheds, illegal logging and encroachment activities often lead to severe flash floods, leaving Aceh to a major loss. The Aceh Tamiang flash flood in 2006 and the recent flash floods in Aceh Tenggara in 2017 and 2018 has been blamed on rampant illegal logging and encroachment.

Illegal logging and encroachment have resulted in disasters such as floods and landslides across different districts in the Leuser Ecosystem each year. (Credit: Junaidi Hanafiah)